Friday, June 15, 2012

Sippy Cups and Surprises

Pull up a chair...we have a place set for you!  Enjoy this guest post today being served today by my friend, Jennifer Wood. 

 Geoff & Jennifer Wood and their beautiful children

Jenn and her son, Judah

Sippy Cups and Surprises

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power…….to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filledto the measure of all the fullness of God." ~ Ephesians 3:17b-19

"My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life..."
Psalm 23:5-6

Ear-piercing shrieks and a contorted scowl.  That is the reaction I received from my 15 month old son, Judah—my surprise baby, when I took the sippy cup from his high chair tray to refill it in the middle of lunch.  He didn’t know why I took it.  He just knew he really liked milk and I was removing his toddler-sized vessel of his white, creamy drink. 

I was slightly understanding but mostly just surprised that he hadn’t yet learned that I don’t just try to rob him of good things.  “Sweetheart,” I said, as I walked to the refrigerator, “I will bring it right back, filled with more milk.  You have to trust me!  Trust that what I am doing is good for you because I love you.” 

I stopped in my tracks as the last phrase came out of my mouth. "You have to trust Me!  Trust that what I am doing is good for you because I love you.”

It came over me like a comfortable, warm blanket.  The Lord was speaking to me through my own words!  Isn’t that just like Him!? 

How many times in my life had He whispered those words to my heart but I was so busy shrieking in my head about my circumstances that I couldn’t hear Him remind me that His love was guiding His will for my life.

Prior to our precious son’s birth, I had 2 school-age daughters and a 3-½ year old daughter who was potty trained and no longer napping so we hit the road of small adventures every day.  We were “free to move about the cabin” as the captain of an airplane would say when flying through smooth, non-turbulent air.  We were cruising at a nice altitude and I was just beginning the journey that I thought God had marked out for me and placed in my heart as a dream—speaking, teaching, writing, visiting the nations to bring the Gospel to those who have not heard the Good News.  I was very excited to feel like I had a new calling when it seemed to come to a screeching halt with the discovery that a baby would be joining our family.

Anyone who looks at this objectively could see that this new journey was far better than the previous one…….but I was not objective. 

I could not have been more subjective!  I felt old, tired, spent, disorganized, ill-equipped, already over the edge.  Did I mention old? On top of all that, it appeared to be the crashing and burning of these dreams and the 9-month challenging transition to a new-old dream……the privilege to raise a little boy. 

Well, that little surprise is now 3-½ years old and God is showing me that He may be filling more than one sippy cup in my life.  There have been glimmers along the way that my crashed-and-burned dreams may somehow become resurrected and today I am writing my very first devotional………EVER!  I just took a sip from that cup and am looking forward to drinking of the rest, whatever God’s best for me is.

I believe Matthew 7:9-11 which says, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" 

The second cup that God is filling?  The obvious!  The privilege of raising a little boy—having him come into this world to change it for God’s glory.  And to change us….for God’s glory, too!

God’s love and provision for me are not always displayed in the form of Him taking something away, only to give a fuller version of that same thing back.

Two months ago, the Lord took my dad.  The pain was searing.  Several times I thought this shell in which my soul lives would die too.  But God reminded me that it is His mercy that we get to leave this place which is filled with sin and hardship, and go to be with Him in glory.  For now, I wait patiently(sometimes) and desire to live out His plan for me here, listening for His whispers of love, until the day when I worship our marvelous Maker in His glorious kingdom alongside my dad and all others whose hearts belong to Jesus.

Jenn and her daddy

I pray that you have ears to hear.  He loves you and is filling a cup for you, too.  In fact, He is filling many cups for each one of us.  Abundantly.

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
John 10:10b

 Lord Jesus, would You help us to hear You when you whisper to our hearts that we need to trust You because your love for us is great?  Remind us of Your faithfulness and lovingkindness.  Give us the faith to trust You and live in your abundance.  In Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen. 
By Jennifer Wood
© 2012 by Jennifer Wood. All rights reserved.

How can you relate to Jenn's testimony of God's goodness?
Leave a comment for Jenn and you will be entered to win 
Winner announced Monday 6/18/12!
Comments welcome all weekend!


Anonymous said...

Jenn, I so needed to hear this today! Thank you for sharing. My thoughts and prayers are with you especially this weekend.

Maria Reyes said...

What a great reminder of God's faithfulness in our lives! Thank you.

Kim Vile said...

Jenn, Beautiful! How blessed are we to have our sweet children and how blessed they are to have parents to help them to know Jesus!I so miss the days they were little,it goes to quickly.xo Kim

Erika said...

I can't believe this is the first devotional you have written!!

You did a great job reminding us how important it is to trust God. How can we pray for His will to be done in our lives and kick and scream when our will is not.

By the way, you and Jeff are amazing parents raising amazing kids whose hearts are filled with Jesus.

Keep writing sister!! God has obviously given you a gift, USE IT!!

Love ya,

Kim Jabbar said...

Thanks Jenn.
What great insights and pictures. Thanks for reminding me we need to be willing to let go of our good so we can receive God's best for our lives. God isn't blessing me with an unplanned pregnancy, but He is trying to bless me with a new soccer team for my son, a different focus for my work, a life lived in total dependence on Him every moment of every day.
He keeps disrupting my plans, even the little seemingly insignificant ones. :) So thanks again. I needed to be reminded of His great love for us as I surrender my good so I may receive His best.
Love and hugs,

Mandy Currie said...

Jenn thank you so much for your guest blog for Sharon. I am sitting here in tears, I needed that Word so much today. God bless you. Mandy Currie (

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jenn for sharing that. It always blows me away the lessons god teaches me through the words I speak to my children!!! Such a great reminder of our need to trust! So blessed to see that you are following Gods leading in your gift and passion for teaching. Love you. Christa

Michelle said...

Jenn, You know how much of a control-freak and planner I am... thanks for your reminder of the wonderful gift we have in being able to trust in our amazing father. I'm excited to hear more from you! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Ellen, my sweet friend and my sister in Christ, I am blown away by your very first devotional. You are an amazing woman and I am in awe of your relationship with Geoff and the kids. You are an inspiration to me and I cherish our friendship. I pray the Lord continues to overflow your cup!! Love, Ronna Lynn :)

Anonymous said...

Sweet Sisters, I have been so incredibly encouraged by you! I pray that every opportunity I have to write will be for God's glory and for the blessing of others. I am so grateful to know that He has chosen to use me to bring blessing to you....truly!
Gratefully, jennifer : )

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not giving up on your dream of writing! I love your first blog post! He has given you this desire and I believe He will continue to provide ways to use you and your gifts to bring others to Himself. It will be an exciting journey to watch! Blessings! Diane P

Heather said...

Thank you Jenn for a beautiful reminder that He is filling us up!! And we need to go get our cups often! :) Thankful for how you can express what God is doing where you are that others would receive the blessing also! Great post!

Beth H said...

Jen, this is Beth Rennix(now Hileman), Diane and Jen's roomate on High Street. I can relate so much to your blog entry. My # 3 was 6 when I had my surprise #4, Trey. He is such a blessing to us and we cannot imagine life without him. He adds much to our family which is why his middle name is Joseph. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Editor and Publisher Shelly Burke said...

Very nice devotional--and very encouraging--good job!

As the mom of an 18 year old and 20 year old, both going to college in different states in a few weeks, I can tell you that the time FLIES by! So enjoy your days with your babies. :-)

God's blessings to you all! And I look forward to reading more devotionals you write. :-)